Football is a team sport. Yes, one can venerate Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi as much as needed, but the point remains that the team/club is the entity that earns the trophies. Managers need each and every member of their team onside to win trophies, although sometimes the mentality of perennial winners in the squad means that there will be a clash with a manager.
Football has seen plenty of feuds between managers and players, but often it remains avoidable, as the people in question share similar qualities that clash over petty issues. The relationship usually ends with the departure of one of the duo from the club, a needless situation were the pair to put aside the small things.
Here are 7 player-manager feuds that we would like to see reversed.
1) Carlo Ancelotti – Mesut Ozil
Carlo Ancelotti has been managing teams for the past 20 years. A common theme amongst most of the players he has managed is how excellent at man-management Ancelotti is, with the Italian rarely ever finding himself in a feud with one of his players. Thus, it was particularly surprising when Ancelotti let Mesut Ozil leave Real Madrid for Arsenal.
The German was pivotal for Los Blancos, with Ronaldo bemoaning Ozil’s departure, citing him as crucial to his scoring record. Ancelotti was having none of it, slamming Ozil for lacking the fight to stay, saying “Ozil wasn't comfortable. I knew he'd been speaking with another club because he wanted to leave.”
“Mesut understood that he had competition, that he wouldn't be able to play every game - and 'I'm off' was his answer. I prefer to have Angel Di Maria for the team's balance. Di Maria is better than Ozil for group dynamics.”
It was rather obvious after all those disparaging comments that Ozil would not take too kindly to it, but the German’s only response has been a steely silence. Given Arsenal’s current capitulation in the Premier League, Ozil might move to another European giant, and Ancelotti’s next club Bayern Munich might be the ideal club for him.
Ozil is much like the Italian, with an unwavering focus on football, preferring to let results do the talking, and it would be lovely to see the Real Madrid pair reunite and dominate German football.